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CES: Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet hands-on review

06 Jan 2014

LAS VEGAS: Acer unveiled its Iconia A1-830 just ahead of CES, claiming that the 7.9in tablet is the ideal choice for buyers on a budget, offering them in-plane switching (IPS) screen technology and Intel Atom performance for a mere €169 (£140).

The price makes the A1-830, shown in our video demo below, even cheaper than the £269 iPad Mini and £200 Nexus 7. However, with both the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini featuring superior specifications, some have come to question whether price alone will be enough to secure a place for the A1-830 in the increasingly competitive affordable tablet market.

Design and build
The A1-830 looks unashamedly like the iPad Mini. The A1-830 has an all but identical aluminium back that wraps around the edge of its glass front. Were it not for the Acer logo emblazoned across its back it would be forgivable to think the A1-830 was built by Apple.

Acer Iconia A1-830 homeLike the iPad it is obviously inspired by, the A1-830 feels robustly built and is fairly comfortable to hold, featuring slightly rounded edges that help it sit neatly in your palm. The metal back also felt reassuringly sturdy and left us more than convinced that the A1-830 could survive the odd bump and scrape unscathed. Its 380g weight and 8.15mm thickness also make the A1-830 fairly travel friendly.

Display
Acer made a big deal about the A1-830's 7.9in 1024x768, IPS display, and we were fairly impressed when we tested it. While we wouldn't say the A1-830's screen is on a par with the Nexus 7's 7in 1920x1200 1080p HD 323ppi display, it is fairly good when you consider the tablet's price.

Using the tablet in the hotel suite where our briefing happened, we were impressed by how bright the A1-830's screen was, and how vibrant the colours appeared on it. The only minor issue we noticed was that at points text displayed on the screen could look slightly fuzzy, though being fair, even in these situations the text was still suitably easy to read.

Processor
Acer's loaded the A1-830 with a dual core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Clover Trail+ processor and 1GB of RAM. While these specifications aren't much to write home about in the quad-core processor dominated world we now live in, we didn't notice any serious performance issues.Acer Iconia A1-830  back

The A1-830 opened web pages and applications in a matter of seconds and navigated between menus stutter free. Sadly we didn't get to benchmark the A1-830 properly during our hands on, or see how it performed when tasked with more demanding tasks, such as 3D gaming, but will do so in our full review.

Software
One shortcoming we noticed is that the A1-830 runs using the previous generation Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, not Google's latest 4.4 KitKat. While this is understandable, when you consider the A1-830's price it is slightly sad as the new version adds a number of useful under-the-hood changes to the OS.

These include a refined and more central version of the Google Now push update service and the new Restrictive Access feature added on Android 4.3. Restrictive access builds on the multiple account support added on 4.1 and lets the device's owner create separate user accounts with tailored rights.

This means businesses can set up a shared employee account that blocks general users from installing applications from third-party marketplaces or making in-app purchases. The function is fairly useful and is an ideal way to help protect shared devices from threats such as Trojan applications.

Battery, storage and camera
Acer lists the A1-830 as boasting a 7.5-hour battery life. We didn't get a chance to test this claim during our hands on, but considering its low-power Atom chipset the reported life sounds more than feasible. Storage-wise the A1-830 features a fairly basic 16GB built in, but this can be upgraded to a maximum of 32GB using the tablet's micro SD card slot.Acer Iconia A1-830 software

Finally, the A1-830 features a 5MP rear and 1.9MP front camera. Using the tablet in the fairly well-lit hotel room we found the rear camera was at best average. Images were reasonably good, but nowhere near as good as those taken on most current smartphones and in general looked slightly dull and washed out. However, considering how bad most tablets' cameras are this really isn't too big of a surprise and is easily forgivable.

Chances
The A1-830 is due to arrive in Europe during Q1 2014. While its specs aren't anything special when compared with more expensive tablets, we were still fairly impressed. For its price the A1-830 offered more than reasonable performance and felt well built. We're 100 percent certain it won't set the tablet world alight come its release, but it could prove a solid choice for SMBs on a budget. Check back with V3 soon for a full review of the Acer Iconia A1-830.

By V3's Alastair Stevenson

HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 hands-on review

11 Dec 2013

BARCELONA: HP unveiled a series of new devices on Tuesday at its annual Discover conference and the most notable of these new units was the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1.

It was unveiled on stage by senior vice president of HP Business Personal Systems, Enrique Lores, who touted its military-grade build quality to withstand dust, extreme temperatures and drops, at which point he let it fall from his hand to the floor with a resounding clang. It seemed to be ok.

Enterprise buyers were also targeted with the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and a smart card reader for extra security, and a docking connector to link to printers and other peripherals.

The firm also touted several other aspects of the device that have been upgraded from its earlier EliteBook Folio 9470M, saying it is lighter, thinner and faster thanks to the inclusion of Intel's Haswell processor. It will ship with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

We went to see the laptop in the giant Discover hall and had a quick play around on the new device and, as HP claimed, it certainly is a swish looking unit with rounded edges, a grey metallic design and an overall feel of quality that is not too dissimilar to a MacBook.

HP Elitebook Folio 1040 G1 side on view

One other notable feature of the new device that HP touted is the use of a new type of control pad called ForcePad (pictured below). Rather than the traditional style control pads on a laptop that require two fingers to select and drag items, this can be done with one as it recognises different pressure sensitivities.

HP Elitebook Folio 1040 G1 front view of ForcePad

It also has the ability to recognise five-touch inputs so touch-style controls such as pinch-to-zoom can be used on applications or web services that support this functionality. This would be useful if you choose to have Windows 7 shipped with the unit.

However, those wanting a touchscreen can get a Windows 8.1 model, which will now support touch, a major let down of the older model. However, the unit we saw was running Windows 7, so we didn't get a chance to test out the new touchscreen mode.

Another improvement is in size and weight, with the device weighing 1.49kg, down from 1.63kg, and the thickness is down from 18.9mm to 15.9mm on the previous model. We certainly found the device light and comfortable to hold, and it could easily slip into a shoulder bag or suitcase without adding much weight.

HP Elitebook Folio 1040 G1 side view keyboard

Overall, after a quick first glance and play, the EliteBook Folio 1040 seems a nice device with a focus on enterprises users that should appeal to many firms and staffers buying their own laptops. The option of Windows 7 or 8.1 means both tastes are catered for and the ForcePad shows that HP is trying to innovate on the otherwise fairly standard laptop model.

The HP EliteBook Folio 1040 will be available in the UK from the middle of December with a starting price of £1,380. Check back on V3 in the future for our full review of the device.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive hands-on review

26 Nov 2013

SanDisk's Connect Wireless Flash Drive is a USB memory stick with a difference: it has built-in WiFi capability and can serve up files wirelessly for up to eight different devices at a time, such as Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.

The device (pictured below) is actually more of a pocket-sized wireless server that uses micro SD flash cards as its storage medium. But it is pretty much the same size and shape as a USB memory stick, and plugs into a computer USB port or USB power adapter from a phone to charge up its internal battery.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

When connected to a computer's USB port, the SanDisk drive acts just like a memory stick, allowing you to read and write files in the time-honoured fashion. When used wirelessly, however, the device can be accessed via a browser or by using an app, with SanDisk providing app support for Android devices and Apple's iPhone and iPad.

The battery inside the Connect Wireless Flash Drive is a lithium polymer type of unspecified capacity, but SanDisk claims it will give up to four hours of continuous access. The unit can alternatively be powered by a USB mains adapter if it is turned on before being plugged in.

When charging, an amber LED on the device lights up, turning off again when the battery is full. Once unplugged, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive is powered up by holding down the silver button half way along its length until the amber and a blue LED both flash three times. Afterwards, the blue LED indicates the WiFi is active.

We tested out the Connect Wireless Flash Drive by downloading SanDisk's Wireless Flash Drive app from Google Play onto an Android smartphone, although the app should work exactly the same on tablet devices.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive app for Android

The app automatically turns on your device's WiFi if it is not already on, and scans for nearby SanDisk devices. This can take a few seconds, after which you tap on the device name to connect to it. The Connect Wireless Flash Drive itself has a wireless range of up to 160 feet (50m), according to SanDisk.

Once connected, the app displays a list of available files on the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, or more accurately on the micro SD card it contains. This came already formatted on our test device, with folders for Documents, Music, Photos and Videos.

We were able to access files that we had previously dragged and dropped onto the device using a Windows PC, including video files and documents. However, there is a short delay as the app has to copy any file across before it can be opened, which contrasts with storage directly connected to your phone or tablet.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive app for Android

The app lets you rename the Connect Wireless Flash Drive and add a password for access control. However, it also prevents you from using the device's own WiFi to access the internet while connected to the Flash Drive, unless you set this option explicitly in the app.

One neat touch with the Connect Wireless Flash Drive is that the plastic collar that slides back to expose the USB connector also doubles as a kind of stand, enabling you to position it upright on a desktop or other surface. This makes it easier to see the blue status LED, and also possibly makes it more prominent than if it were lying flat on the table, so you will be less likely to accidentally leave it behind.

Overall, we found the Connect Wireless Flash Drive fairly simple to use, although we are not sure exactly who the device is aimed at, since it would be equally easy to share content with friends or colleagues by uploading it to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox. However, the device does not require an internet connection to operate, of course, as you link directly to it via a peer-to-peer WiFi connection.

The Connect Wireless Flash Drive ships with either a 16GB or 32GB flash card already fitted in the device's micro SD slot, with the 32GB version listed on Amazon.co.uk for £49.90.

iPad Mini 2 vs Kindle Fire HDX spec by spec

13 Nov 2013

Since the iPad Mini 2 was unveiled in October, businesses and industry commentators have been obsessed with the question of how it will compare to its key rival, the Google Nexus 7.

This focus has led many potential buyers to overlook another key Android competitor challenging the new Mini – the Amazon Fire HDX. The latest Kindle Fire falls in the same size bracket as the iPad Mini and has a few custom Fire OS 3.0 Mojito software features that could appeal to business buyers.

Dimensions
iPad Mini 2: 200x135x7.5mm, 331g
Kindle Fire HDX: 231x158x7.8mm, 374g or 186x128x9mm 303g

The Kindle Fire is available in 7in and 8.9in versions. Both are slightly thicker than the iPad Mini, with the 8.9in measuring in at 7.8mm thick and the 7in an even chunkier 9mm. The two Fire HDX tablets are also confirmed to mainly be made of polycarbonate, not metal. This means the Mini will likely be more robustly built and feel more top end in hand.Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Display
iPad Mini 2: 7.9in, 2048x1536, 326ppi Retina display
Kindle Fire HDX: 8.9in, 2560x1600 pixels, 339ppi display or 7in 1920x1200 323ppi

The 2013 Mini is the first small-form tablet from Apple to come loaded with Retina display technology. However both the 8.9in and 7in versions of the HD feature fairly impressive displays that also break the 300ppi count. In the past we've found picking between tablets with 300ppi-plus screens fairly difficult and are guessing any difference will be negligible.

Software
iPad Mini 2: iOS 7
Kindle Fire HDX: Fire OS 3.0 Mojito Jelly Bean, customised

Kindle Fire tablets all run using a very heavily customised version of Google Android. The HDX series is no different with both versions coming with Fire OS 3.0 Mojito Jelly Bean preinstalled. At its heart, this is a heavily customised version of Android Jelly Bean.

The iPad Mini comes loaded with iOS 7. At first glance this makes the iPad Mini look more enterprise friendly, with iOS to this day remaining blissfully malware free and boasting a host of productivity features. However, for its latest version, Amazon has added a few useful business-focused features that make it on paper similarly enterprise friendly. These include Exchange ActiveSync support for corporate email access, encryption of the user partition of the device to secure data, support for Kerberos authentication and a native VPN client.

Processor
iPad Mini 2: A7
Kindle Fire HDX: Quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

The iPad Mini comes loaded with the same A7 chip used in the iPad Air and iPhone 5S. Apple made a big deal about the A7 chip at the Mini's unveiling, claiming that it will offer users radically better performance. Having tested the chip on the iPhone 5S and Air we did notice an improvement. However, being powered by a quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 the Kindle Fire is also fairly powerful and could very well match the Mini's performance.Apple iPad Mini with Retina dispaly

Camera
iPad Mini: 5MP iSight rear and 1.2MP HD FaceTime front
Kindle Fire HDX: 8MP autofocus rear, LED flash, 720p front

The Mini comes with the same 5MP rear camera as the Air, which was fairly average when shooting in regular light. For this reason, we're thinking the Fire's higher-specced 8MP rear snapper may offer users superior image quality.

Storage
iPad Mini 2: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
Kindle Fire HDX: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

The Apple iPad has more storage options, but is more expensive than the 7in version of the Fire. The WiFi-only 16GB Mini costs £319. Moving up the scale the larger 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions cost £399, £479 and £559 respectively. Pricing for the 7in Kindle Fire HDX starts at £199.

Battery
iPad Mini 2: 10 hours
Kindle Fire HDX: 12 hours

The Kindle Fire is listed to last two hours longer than the iPad Mini. Check back for a full review soon for accurate battery times once we've had the chance to test them. Based on previous battery tests of iPads and Kindles, we'd expect Mini to outlast the Fire HDX, despite the quoted figures.

Overall
On paper the Apple iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX both have a lot to like about them. The iPad has a more compact and potentially better built chassis, while the Kindle Fire HDX offers a more diverse and affordable set of options to business buyers. As a result, we're putting our hands up in the air and admitting it's too early to say which is the better choice for businesses.

Check back with V3 later for full reviews of the Apple iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX.

By V3's Alastair Stevenson

iPad Mini 2 vs iPad Air spec by spec

12 Nov 2013

Apple unveiled its latest iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air tablets in October. The iPad Air originally dominated the headlines, offering business buyers a streamlined new design and host of upgraded internal specifications.

However, with the iPad Mini's UK launch now upon us, business interest has turned to the Air's smaller sibling. To help businesses know which iPad is right for them, we've broken down the two tablets' key specifications.

Dimensions
iPad Mini 2: 200x135x7.5mm, 331g
iPad Air: 240x170x7.5mm, 469g

As you would expect given their names, the iPad Mini is smaller than the Air. The only differentiating factor is that the Air has a more updated design, with Apple having worked hard to make it look every bit as sleek and light as its similarly branded line of laptops. The Mini, by comparison, has a fairly similar design to older iPad models.Apple iPad Air with A7 processor

Display
iPad Mini 2: 7.9in, 2048x1536, 326ppi Retina display
iPad Air: 9.7in 2048x1536, 263ppi Retina display

Both the iPad Air and iPad Mini come with Apple's Retina display technology. However, thanks to its smaller dimensions the Mini's display has more pixels per inch, which means icons and text should appear slightly crisper on the Mini. Both tablets have in-plane switching (IPS), which is designed to improve clarity and colour balance.

Software
iPad Mini 2: iOS 7
iPad Air: iOS 7

Both the Mini and the Air run using Apple iOS 7. This is no bad thing as the operating system is Apple's most secure to date, with 41 security upgrades and fixes. This, combined with recently made free Apple apps, such as Pages, means both the iPads should be great productivity boosting tools.

Despite its positive points, many users have lodged complaints about iOS 7, arguing its smaller fonts and updated menu systems make it more difficult to use. Some have gone so far as to report suffering motion sickness when using iOS 7 devices. Apple has worked to fix a number of these issues in its recent iOS 7.0.3 update.

Processor
iPad Mini 2: A7
iPad Air: A7

Both the iPad Mini and Air run using Apple's brand new A7 chipset. Apple claims the chipset will offer users faster speeds and improved power efficiency. Having tested the chipset during our iPad Air and iPhone 5S reviews, we found there is some truth to Apple's claim. For this reason we're expecting similar top-end performance from the new Mini.Apple iPad Mini with Retina dispaly

Camera
iPad Mini 2: 5MP iSight rear and 1.2MP HD FaceTime front
iPad Air: 5MP iSight rear and 1.2MP HD FaceTime front

The Air and Mini come with identical camera setups, and they should offer reasonable, but not great performance. While usable in regular light, image quality on the Air's camera rapidly deteriorated when shooting in dim conditions.

Storage
iPad Mini 2: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
iPad Air: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Both tablets come with the same storage options, though the iPad Mini is the cheaper of the two. The WiFi-only 16GB Mini costs £319, going up to £559 for the 128GB version, and £659 for its WiFi and 4G-enabled equivalent. Air pricing starts at £399 for the basic WiFi-only 16GB model and goes up to a massive £639 for the 128GB and £739 for the WiFi and 4G-enabled 128GB version.

Battery
iPad Mini 2: 10 hours
iPad Air: 10 hours

Apple lists both iPads as having 10-hour battery lives. In the past we've found Apple's quoted battery lives are, in general, accurate. This means both the Mini and Air should last longer than the average tablet off one charge.

Overall
On paper both the Mini and Air offer top-end performance, featuring identical A7 chipsets and running on Apple's latest iOS 7 software. But despite having a smaller form factor, the Mini does have a slightly crisper display and is up to £80 cheaper. This means the iPad Mini could be a better option for businesses on a budget.

Check back with V3 later for a full review of the Apple iPad Mini.

By V3's Alastair Stevenson

How to use the iOS 7 Calendar app

11 Nov 2013

It's been a couple of months since Apple unleashed iOS 7 for its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, and after a couple of updates, it's fairly certain that the firm has taken a ‘like it or lump it' mentality.

One area where that's more apparent than most is the Calendar app. While Apple has certainly given it a new lick of paint to match the rest of iOS, there are quite a few oddities about the app which need explaining.

Event list
In iOS 6 it was fairly apparent as to where you could find the "list" view in the calendar app. Inexplicably, Apple has in effect hidden this feature behind the search function. To get the list view you know and love, simply tap the magnifying glass logo at the top right of the Calendar window, next to the + button for adding appointments. 

iOS 7 Calendar day view

To find specific events, simply tap in the search bar and type away.

iOS 7 Calendar list view

Month events view
It may have been to make things less cluttered, but some people really liked seeing all of their events from the month view section of the calendar app. That's gone, and there's no way of getting it back. This is particularly unhelpful if you're like us and have events and appointments on pretty much every day of the week. However, the above method of viewing the list view is probably your closest way of getting it back. Or, try accessing week view - see below.

Week/five day view
There's no obvious week view option in the iOS 7 Calendar app on the iPhone, but it's simple to access. Turn the phone on its side (landscape mode) and you'll see multiple days and their corresponding events. It's not great on the iPhone's tiny 4in screen, however, so we'd recommend using the list view instead if you're on anything other than an iPad.

iOS 7 Calendar week or multi day view

If you do for some reason want to access the week view on your iPhone, you'll need to make sure screen rotate is on: swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the quick access options menu, then simply select the rotating padlock icon on the right.

That's it, a few of Apple's slightly-obscured-for-some-reason Calendar features.

Nexus 5 vs Galaxy S4 spec by spec

01 Nov 2013

Google took the wraps off its latest flagship Nexus 5 smartphone this week, hoping that its high-end specifications and mid-range price will make it competitive against the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The firm is looking to attract geek fans of the Android platform too, as the Nexus 5 is the first device to run the Android 4.4 Kitkat version, and will also be among the first to receive future iterations of Android. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4, it also features a non-customised user interface, which can complicate future upgrades.

Measurements and weight

Google Nexus 5: 138x69x8.6mm, 130g
Samsung Galaxy S4: 137x70x7.9mm, 130g

The Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are nearly identical in size, with both phones weighing 130g and boasting almost the same dimensions. The Nexus 5 is slightly chunkier, however, measuring 8.6mm thick, compared to the Galaxy S4's svelte 7.9mm profile.

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat press shot

Display

Google Nexus 5: 5in full HD 1920x1080 IPS 445ppi display
Samsung Galaxy S4: 5in full HD 1920x1080 Super Amoled 441ppi display

Not only are the Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 nearly identical in size and shape, the two rival smartphones also have very similar displays.

Both sport full HD resolution. While we're yet to size up the the screen on Google's latest flagship phone, it very slightly pips the Galaxy S4 in pixel density, but might fall short in vibrancy due to its lack of Amoled screen technology.

Processor

Google Nexus 5: Quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 processor
Samsung Galaxy S4: Quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 processor

The Google Nexus 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy S4 in processing power, on paper at least. While both handsets have Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, the Nexus 5 chip is clocked at 2.26GHz compared to 1.9GHz on the Galaxy S4, and is likely to offer an even smoother experience.

Battery

Google Nexus 5: 17 hours' talk time on 3G quoted by Carphone Warehouse, 2,300mAh battery
Samsung Galaxy S4: 17 hours' talk time on 3G, 2,600mAh

Despite having a smaller 2,600mAh battery, the Google Nexus 5 matches the Samsung Galaxy S4 in battery life, with both phones promising up to 17 of hours talk time on 3G. We are, of course, yet to put Google's claims to the test.

Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in White and Black

Software

Google Nexus 5: Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system
Samsung Galaxy S4: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system

For fans of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Nexus 5 trumps the Galaxy S4, with the handset running Google's newly unveiled Android 4.4 Kitkat release. The Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, ships with Google's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean release, and can be upgraded to the Android 4.3 and possibly also Android 4.4 release.

Google's Nexus 5 also features a completely vanilla user interface, as opposed to Samsung's custom Touchwiz user interface.

Cameras

Google Nexus 5: 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
Samsung Galaxy S4: 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera

The cameras on the Google Nexus 5 don't match up to those on the Samsung Galaxy S4, with the Nexus handset having an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP camera on the front. Unlike the Galaxy S4, however, the Nexus 5 camera comes with optical image stabilsation, which is likely to make for sharper images.

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4

Storage

Google Nexus 5: 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy S4: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, microSD card slot for expansion up to 64GB, 2GB of RAM

The Nexus 5 will be made available only in 16GB and 32GB models, compared to the Galaxy S4 that is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage models. The Samsung Galaxy S4 also comes with a microSD card slot allowing users to expand the phone's memory, whereas the Nexus 5 does not. However, given the difference in the smartphones' prices, this was likely a cost cutting measure.

Overall

Although the Google Nexus 5 doesn't quite match the Galaxy S4 for its cameras and storage, it matches the flagship Samsung handset in nearly every other category, be it size, display or battery life. It also has a faster processor, and gets one up on the rival handset as it's the first smartphone to ship with the Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system.

Since Google's Nexus 5 smartphone is over £200 less expensive than the Galaxy S4, it looks like Samsung should start worrying.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S spec by spec

31 Oct 2013

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat press shot

Apple iPhone 5S in space grey gold and silver

 

 

 

VS

 

 

 

For years now Google's aimed to beat Apple by releasing affordable smartphones with top-end internal specifications. The Nexus 5 is the latest step in this strategy, with the premier Android handset featuring a number of top-end specifications unheard of in its modest sub-£300 price tag.

However, with the Apple iPhone 5S already having captured the hearts and minds of many buyers, many will question if value alone is enough for the Nexus 5 to beat Apple in the top-end market.

Measurements and weight
Apple iPhone 5S: 124x59x7.6mm, 112g
Google Nexus 5: 138x69x8.6mm, 130g

The Apple iPhone 5S has a close to identical design to the iPhone 5. This means it is significantly lighter and smaller than the Nexus 5. However, weighing 130g and being just 1mm thicker than the 5S, the Nexus 5 is hardly a back breaker.

Display
Apple iPhone 5S: 4in 1136x640, 326 ppi Retina display
Google Nexus 5: 5in, full HD, 1920x1080, 445 ppi

When Apple first released its Retina display technology it was the best on the market. However, in recent years it has begun to show its age, with numerous Android phones boasting 400ppi displays offering superior colour balance and brightness levels.

For this reason, while the iPhone 5S 326ppi Retina display is still very good, it probably won’t be able to match the Nexus 5’s 445ppi screen.

Processor
Apple iPhone 5S: A7 chipset
Google Nexus 5: Quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Apple made a massive deal about the iPhone 5S A7 chipset and having tested the device we can understand why. However, powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 800 chip, the Nexus 5 may well be able to match, if not beat, the iPhone 5S performance.

Battery
Apple iPhone 5S: 10 hours' 3G talk time, eight hours' 3G internet usage
Google Nexus 5: 17 hours' talk time quoted by Carphone Warehouse, 2300mAh

The Nexus 5 has a bigger battery than the 5S and the added boon of wireless charging. Considering how useful we found the Nokia 920's wireless charging feature we're pretty excited about the Nexus 5.

Software
Apple iPhone 5S: iOS 7
Google Nexus 5: Android 4.4 KitKat

Picking which of Apple and Google's mobile operating systems is better is close to impossible. This is because the answer is largely determined by which PC operating system you are in. Mac OS users will find iOS better due to its iCloud and iTunes integration, while Chrome OS and Windows will find Android better because of its open, cross-platform nature. Furthermore, those already embedded in the Android or iOS ecosystem will no doubt prefer to stick with the platform they have no doubt spent money on apps for.

Camera
Apple iPhone 5S: 8MP rear-facing camera with f2.2 aperture 1.2MP front-facing camera
Google Nexus 5: 8MP rear facing with Optical Image Stabilisation, 1.3MP front facing

On paper the iPhone 5S and Nexus 5 are fairly similarly matched camera-wise. For this reason the answer to which phone has the better camera is fairly difficult to know without a fair amount of real world testing.

Storage and price
Apple iPhone 5S: 16/32/64GB, no microSD slot, 2GB RAM. Pricing starts from £549.
Google Nexus 5: 16GB or 32GB, 2GB RAM. Pricing starts from £299.

Overall
Summing up, on paper the Nexus 5 offers buyers great value for money, offering users top end specifications while costing just £299. However, with the iPhone 5S having similarly impressive specifications and better synchronisation features for Mac OS, we're not convinced it will win over many Apple fans.

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